CHAPTER 225

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 679

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 5, CHAPTER 23, CHAPTER 45, AND CHAPTER 89, TITLE 10, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO GRAND AND PETIT JURIES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. §505, Chapter 5, §2317, Chapter 23, and §8901, Chapter 89, Title 10, Delaware Code, are hereby repealed.

Section 2. Amend Chapter 45, Title 10, Delaware Code, by striking Subchapter 1 thereof in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new Subchapter I to read as follows:

"SUBCHAPTER I. GRAND AND PETIT JURIES

§4501. Declaration of policy.

It is the policy of the State of Delaware that all litigants in state courts entitled to trial by jury shall have the right to grand and petit juries selected at random from a fair cross section of the county wherein the court convenes. It is further the policy of the State of Delaware that all citizens shall have the opportunity to be considered for service on grand and petit juries in the courts of the State of Delaware, and shall have an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose.

§4502. Definitions.

For purposes of this Chapter:

(a) 'clerk' and 'clerk of the court' shall mean the Prothonotary of each county or any authorized deputy clerk;

() 'voter registration lists' shall mean the official records maintained by State or local election officials of persons registered to vote in either the most recent State or the most recent Federal general election;

(a) 'lists of actual voters' shall mean the official lists of persons actually voting in either the most recent State or the most recent Federal general election;

(b) 'representative district' shall mean current reapportioned representative district;

(c) 'jury wheel' shall include any device or system similar in purpose or function, such as a properly programed electronic data processing system or device;

(d) 'juror qualification form' shall mean a form prescribed by the Superior Court, which shall elicit the name, address, age, race, occupation, education, length of residence within the county, prior jury service, and citizenship of a potential juror, and whether he should be excused or exempted from jury service, has any physical or mental infirmity impairing his capacity to serve as a juror, is able to read, write, speak and understand the English language, has pending against him any charge for the commission of a State or Federal criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, or has been convicted in any State or Federal court of record of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and has not had his civil rights restored by pardon or amnesty. The form shall request, but not require, any other information not inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter and required by the Superior Court plan in the interests of the sound administration of justice. The form shall also elicit the sworn statement that his responses are true to the best of his knowledge. Notorization shall not be required. The form shall contain words clearly informing the person that the furnishing of any information with respect to his religion, national origin, or economic status is not a prerequisite to his qualification for jury service, that such information need not be furnished if the person finds it objectionable to do so, and that information concerning race is required solely to enforce nondiscrimination in jury selection and has no bearing on an individual's qualification for jury service;

(g) 'public officer' shall mean a person who is either elected to public office or who is directly appointed by a person elected to public office.

§4503. Discrimination prohibited.

No citizen shall be excluded from service as a grand or petit juror in the courts of the State of Delaware on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status.

§4504. Plan for random jury selection.

(a) The Superior Court shall devise and place into operation a written plan for random selection of grand and petit jurors that shall be designed to achieve the objectives of §4501 and §4503 of this Subchapter, and that shall otherwise comply with the provisions of this Subchapter. Separate plans may be adopted for each county. The Superior Court may modify a plan at any time.

() Among other things, such plan shall:

(1) use jury commissioners to manage the jury selection process. The Superior Court shall appoint two suitable persons, both of whom shall not at any time be of the same political party, in each county to be jury commissioners. Each jury commissioner shall receive compensation to be fixed by the Superior Court plan but not to exceed $1,000 per annum plus reimbursement for travel expense at the rate of 15 cents per mile but not to exceed $500 per annum to be paid by the State Treasurer upon certification by the court. The jury commissioners shall act under the supervision and control of the President Judge of the Superior Court or such other judge of the Superior Court as this plan may provide.

(2) specify whether the names of prospective jurors shall be selected from the voter registration lists or the list of actual voters of each county. The plan shall prescribe some other source or sources of names in addition to voter lists where necesary to foster the policy and protect the rights secured by §4501 and §4503 of this Subchapter.

(3) specify detailed procedures to be followed by the jury commissioners in selecting names from the sources specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection. These procedures shall be designed to ensure the random selection of a fair cross section of the persons residing in the county wherein the court convenes. They shall ensure that names of persons residing in each of the representative districts within the county are placed in a master jury wheel; and shall ensure that each representative district within the county is substantially proportionally represented in the master jury wheel for that county. For the purpose of determining proportional representation in the master jury wheel, either the number of actual voters at the last general election in each representative district or the number of registered voters may be used.

(0) provide for a master jury wheel (or a device similar in purpose and function) into which the names of those randomly selected shall be placed. The plan shall fix a minimum number of names to be placed initially in the master jury wheel, which shall be at least one-half of 1 per centum of the total number of persons on the lists used as a source of names for the county; but if this number of names is believed to be cumbersome and unnecessary, the plan may fix a smaller number of names to be placed in the master wheel. The President Judge of the Superior Court, or such other superior court judge as the plan may provide, may order additional names to be placed in the master jury wheel from time to time as necessary. The plan shall provide for periodic emptying and refilling of the master jury wheel at specified times, the interval for which shall not exceed four years.

(5) specify those groups of persons or occupational classes whose members shall, on individual request therefor, be excused from jury service. Such groups or classes shall be excused only if the Superior Court finds, and the plan states, that jury service by such class or group would entail undue hardship or extreme inconvenience to the members thereof and excuse of members thereof would not be inconsistent with §4501 and §4503 of this Subchapter.

(0) specify those groups of persons or occupational classes whose members shall be barred from jury service on the ground that they are exempt. Such groups or classes shall be exempt only if the Superior Court finds, and the plan states, that their exemption is in the public interest and would not be inconsistent with §4501 and §4503 of this Subchapter. This plan shall provide for exemptions of the following persons: (i) members in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States; (ii) members of the fire or police departments of the State or subdivision thereof; (iii) public officers in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the Government of the United States or of the State or subdivision thereof, who are actively engaged in the performance of official duties.

(1) fix the time when the names drawn from the qualified jury wheel shall be disclosed to parties and to the public. If the plan permits these names to be made public, it may nevertheless permit the President Judge of the Superior Court, or such other superior court judge as the plan may provide, to keep these names confidential in any case where the interests of justice so require.

(2) specify the procedures to be followed by the jury commissioners in assigning persons whose names have been drawn from the qualified jury wheel to grand and petit jury panels.

(c) State and local officials having custody, possession, or control of voter registration lists, lists of actual voters, or other appropriate records shall make such lists and records available to the jury commissioners for inspection, reproduction, and copying at all reasonable times as the commissioners may deem necessary and proper for the performance of duties under this Subchapter. The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction upon application by the Attorney General to compel compliance with this subsection by appropriate process.

§4505. Drawing of names from the master jury wheel; completion of juror qualification form.

(a) From time to time as directed by the Superior Court, the jury commissioners shall publicly draw at random from the master jury wheel the names of as many persons as may be required for jury service. The jury commissioners shall prepare an alphabetical list of the names drawn, which list shall not be disclosed to any person except pursuant to the Superior Court plan and to §4508 and 4509 of this Subchapter. The jury commissioners shall mail to every person whose name is drawn from the master wheel a juror qualification form accompanied by instructions to fill out and return the form, duly signed and sworn, to the jury commissioners by mail within ten days. If the person is unable to fill out the form, another shall do it for him, and shall indicate that he has done so and the reason therefor. In any case in which it appears that there is an omission, ambiguity, or error in a form, the jury commissioners shall return the form with instuctions to the person to make such additions or corrections as may be necessary and to return the form to the jury commissioners within ten days. Any person who fails to return a completed juror qualification form as instructed may be summoned by the jury commissioners forthwith to appear before the jury commissioners to fill out a juror qualification form. A person summoned to appear because of failure to return a juror qualification form as instructed who personally appears and executes a juror qualification form before the jury commissioners may, at the discretion of the Superior Court, except where his prior failure to execute and mail such form was willful, be entitled to receive for such appearance the same fees and travel allowances paid to jurors under §4511 of this Subchapter. At the time of his appearance for jury service, any person may be required to fill out another juror qualification form in the presence of the jury commissioners, at which time, in such cases as it appears warranted, the person may be questioned, but only with regard to his responses to questions contained on the form. Any information thus acquired by the jury commissioners may be noted on the juror qualification form and transmitted to the President Judge or .such superior court judge as the plan may provide.

(b) Any person summoned pursuant to subsection (a) of this section who fails to appear as directed shall be ordered by the Superior Court forthwith to appear and show cause for his failure to comply with the summons. Any person who fails to appear pursuant to such order or who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with the summons may be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than three days, or both. Any person who willfully misrepresents a material fact on a juror qualification form for the purpose of avoiding or securing service as a juror may be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than three days, or both.

§4506. Qualifications for jury service.

(a) the President Judge of the Superior Court, or such other superior court judge as the plan may provide, on his initiative or upon recommendation of the jury commissioners, shall determine solely on the basis of information provided on the juror qualification form and other competent evidence whether a person is unqualified for, or exempt, or to be excused from jury service. The jury commissioner shall enter such determination in the space provided on the juror qualification form and the alphabetical list of names drawn from the master jury wheel. If a person did not appear in response to a summons, such fact shall be noted on said list.

(b) In making such determination the President Judge of the Superior Court, or such other superior court judge as the plan may provide, shall deem any person qualified to serve on grand and petit juries in the Superior Court unless he:

(1) is not a citizen of the United States eighteen years old who has resided for a period of one year within the county;

(0) is unable to read, write, and understand the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to fill out satisfactorily the juror qualification form;

(1) is unable to speak the English language;

(2) is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, to render satisfactory jury service; or

(3) has a charge pending against him for the commission of, or has been convicted in a State or Federal court of record, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and his civil rights have not been restored by pardon or amnesty.

§4507. Selection and summoning of jury panels.

(a) The jury commissioners shall maintain a qualified jury wheel and shall place in such wheel names of all persons drawn from the master jury wheel who are determined to be qualified as jurors and not exempt or excused pursuant to the Superior Court plan. From time to time, the jury commissioners shall publicly draw at random from the qualified jury wheel such number of names of persons as may be required for assignment to grand and petit jury panels. The jury commissioners shall prepare a separate list of names of persons assigned to each grand and petit jury panel.

drawn, the jury commissioners or their duly designated deputies shall issue summonses for the required number of jurors.

Each person drawn for jury service may be served personally, or by registered or certified mail addressed to such person at his usual residence or business address.

If such service is made personally, the summons shall be delivered by the jury commissioners or their duly designated deputies to the sheriff who shall make such service.

If such service is made by registered or certified mail, the summons may be served by the jury commissioners or their duly designated deputies who shall make affidavit of service and shall file with such affidavit the addressee's receipt for the registered or certified summons. If such service is made by the sheriff, he shall attach to his return the addressee's receipt for the registered or certified mail.

(c) Except as provided in §4506 of this Subchapter or in any jury selection plan provision adopted pursuant to paragraph (5), or (6) or §4504(b) of this Subchapter, no person or class of persons shall be disqualified, excluded, excused, or exempt from service as jurors; provided, that any person summoned for jury service may be:

(1) excused by the court, upon a showing of undue hardship or extreme inconvenience, for such period as the court deems necessary, at the conclusion of which such person shall be summoned again for jury service under subsections (b) and (c) of this section; or

(2) excluded by the court on the ground that such person may be unable to render impartial jury service or that his service as a juror would be likely to disrupt the proceedings; or by law; or

(4) excluded pursuant to the procedure specified by law upon a challenge by any party for good cause shown; or

(5) excluded upon determination by the court that his service as a juror would be likely to threaten the secrecy of the proceedings, or otherwise adversely affect the integrity of jury deliberations.

No person shall be excluded under subparagraph (5) of this subsection unless the judge, in open court, determines that such is warranted and that exclusion of the person will not be inconsistent with §4501 and §4503 of this Subchapter. The number of persons excluded under subparagraph (5) of this subsection shall not exceed one per centum of the number of persons who return executed jury qualification forms during the period, specified in the plan, between two consecutive fillings of the master jury wheel. Exclusions effectuated under subparagraph (5) shall not be subject to challenge under the provisions of this Chapter. Any person excluded from a particular jury under subparagraphs (2), (3), or (4) of this subsection shall be eligible to sit on another jury if the basis for his initial exclusion would not be relevant to his ability to serve on such other jury.

(d) Whenever a person is disqualified, excused, exempt, or excluded from jury service, the jury commissioners shall note in the space provided on his juror qualification form or on the juror's card drawn from the qualified jury wheel the specific reason therefor.

(e) In any two-year period, no person shall be required to:

(1) serve or attend court for propsective service as a petit juror for a total of more than thirty days, except when necessary to complete service in a particular case;

(2) serve on more than one grand jury; or (3) serve as both a grand and petit juror.

(f) When there is an unanticipated shortage of available petit jurors drawn from the qualified jury wheel, the court may require the sheriff to summon a sufficient number of petit jurors selected at random from the voter registration lists, lists of actual voters, or other lists specified in the plan, in a manner ordered by the court consistent with §4501 and §4503 of this Subchapter.

(g) Any person summoned for jury service who fails to appear as directed shall be ordered by the Superior Court to appear forthwith and show cause for his failure to comply with the summons. Any person who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with a summons may be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than three days, or both.

§4508. Challenging compliance with selection procedures.

(a) In criminal cases, before the voir dire examination begins, or within seven days after the defendant discovered or could have discovered, by the exercise of diligence, the grounds therefor, whichever is earlier, the defendant may move to dismiss the indictment or stay the proceedings against him on the ground of substantial failure to comply with the provisions of this Subchapter in selecting the grand or petit jury.

(b) In criminal cases, before the voir dire examination begins, or within seven days after the Attorney General discovered or could have discovered, by the exercise of diligence, the grounds therefor, whichever is earlier, the Attorney General may move to dismiss the indictment or stay the proceedings on the ground of substantial failure to comply with the provisions of this Subchapter in selecting the grand or petit jury.

begins, or within seven days after the party discovered or could have discovered, by the exercise of diligence, the grounds therefor, whichever is earlier, any party may move to stay the proceedings on the ground of substantial failure to comply with the provisions of this Subchapter in selecting the petit jury.

(d) Upon motion filed under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section, containing a sworn statement of facts which, if true, would constitute a substantial failure to comply with the provisions of this Subchapter, the moving party shall be entitled to present in support of such motion the testimony of the jury commissioners, if available, any relevant records and papers not public or otherwise available used by the jury commissioners and any other relevant evidence. If the court determines that there has been a substantial failure to comply with the provisions of this Subchapter in selecting the grand jury, the court shall stay the proceedings pending the selection of a grand jury in conformity with this Subchapter or dismiss the indictment, whichever is appropriate. If the court determines that there has been a substantial failure to comply with the provisions of this Subchapter in selecting the petit jury, the court shall stay the proceedings pending the selection of a petit jury in conformity with this Subchapter.

() The procedures prescribed by this section shall be the exclusive means by which a person accused of a crime, the Attorney General or a party in a civil case may challenge any jury on the ground that such jury was not selected in conformity with the provisions of this Subchapter. Nothing in t his section shall preclude any person or the State from pursuing any other remedy, civil or criminal, which may be available for the vindication or enforcement of any law prohibiting discrimination on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or economic status in the selection of persons for service on grand or petit juries.

(a) The contents of records or papers used by the jury commissioners in connection with the jury selection process shall not be disclosed, except pursuant to the Superior Court plan or as may be necessary in the preparation or presentation of a motion under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section, until the master jury wheel has been emptied and refilled pursuant to §4504(b)(4) of this Subchapter and all persons selected to serve as jurors before the master wheel was emptied have completed such service. The parties in a case shall be allowed to inspect, reproduce, and copy such records or papers at all reasonable times during the preparation and pendency of such a motion. Any person who discloses the contents of any record or paper in violation of this subsection may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

§4509. Maintenance and inspection of records.

After the master jury wheel is emptied and refilled pursuant to §4504(b)(4) of this Subchapter, and after all persons selected to serve as jurors before the master wheel was emptied have completed such service, all records and papers compiled and maintained by the jury commissioners before the master wheel was empited shall be preserved in the custody of the clerk for four years or for such longer period as may be ordered by a court, and shall be available for public inspection for the purpose of determining the validity of the selection of any jury.

§4510. Challenges.

In civil cases, each party shall be entitled to three peremptory challenges. Several defendants or several plaintiffs may be considered as a single party for the purposes of making challenges, or the court may allow additional preemptory challenges and permit them to be exercised separately or jointly.

All challenges for cause or favor, whether to the array or panel or to individual jurors, shall be determined by the court.

§4511. Fees

Grant, petit, or special jurors shall receive $15 per day plus reimbursement for travel expense at the rate of 15 cents per mile. The clerk of the Court shall keep a record of attendance and travel expense and shall certify the amount due each juror for payment by the State Treasurer. Whenever a jury is furnished with actual necessaries during their confinement in the jury room or elsewhere, the expense shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon certification by the court.

§4512. Jurisdiction.

The Superior Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over any violation of the provisions of this Subchapter."

Section 3. This Act will become effective upon adoption of a plan by the Superior Court as provided herein.

Approved July 9, 1975